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Photo of Brenda Jin Brenda, with her Pac-Man themed Google GlassHi, I'm Brenda Jin! 

What do you work on?

I code interactive A/B web prototypes for Tablet at Macys.com with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. We design, build, and test these prototypes in front of real users. We use the results of these tests to improve the prototypes in what is called an “iterative” process. Eventually, the best features from these tests will be brought into the Macys.com experience.

I can’t show you what I’m working on now, but you can check out the CyberSwipe JS library that I built last year: 

Screenshot of the CyberSwipe library on an iPadThe CyberSwipe library on an iPad

How did you learn to program?

It all started with AOL Instant Messenger in the 90s. Back then, you could use HTML to decorate your profile. My friends and I used to have a lot of fun changing colors and font styles in the basic editor.

In college, I majored in Musicology and took a computer science course that would lay the groundwork for success later on. It was called PLOrk: Princeton Laptop Orchestra. We used a language called ChucK to program music and wrote compositions every week using Computer Science fundamentals!

After college, I pursued a career in opera, then non-profit fundraising. I found myself doing all kinds of web work and being good at it. So last year, I decided to learn JavaScript and become a Web Developer. It took a lot of hard work, but I landed a great job at Macys.com.

I found my calling, and I’m so grateful to be a programmer. It’s a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun!

What do you do when you're not programming?

I make electronic music and love hiking and biking! I also hack for fun - my side projects include microcontrollers like Arduino and wearables like Google Glass.

A photo of Brenda biking up the hills of San FranciscoBiking in the hills of San Francisco

What’s your one piece of advice for new programmers?

Don’t be afraid to feel like a n00b - everybody is a n00b at something! Learning is what we do every day on the job, and it’s a part of this career that I absolutely love.